New coalition to tackle sleep disorders in older adults

In an effort to ensure the proper care of older adults with sleep disorders, the International Longevity Center-USA (ILC-USA) has announced the formation of a national coalition to develop comprehensive guidelines on how to diagnose and manage sleep disorders in older adults.

The prevalence of sleep-related problems increases with age. While significant progress has been made in understanding sleep-related problems such as insomnia, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome, they remain under diagnosed and under treated in older adults.

"Sleep disorders are common in older adults and often, inappropriately, seen as a consequence of the aging process itself," says Dr. Harrison Bloom, senior associate at the ILC-USA and chair of the coalition's expert taskforce that will develop the clinical practice guidelines.

The National Coalition for Sleep Disorders in Older People (S-DOP) mission is to formulate, endorse and disseminate clinical practice guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in older people. The coalition aims to complete the development of the guidelines by early 2008.

"As is common for geriatric patients, older people with sleep disorders often present with multiple and related health problems," says Dr. Meir Kryger, Board Chair of the National Sleep Foundation, which was a founding member of S-DOP. "Therefore the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in older people poses its own challenges and requires its own algorithm and considerations."

Thirteen leading aging, geriatric and sleep organizations have joined the effort, representing thousands of physicians, long-term care experts, aging and sleep experts, scientists, medical students and millions of patients."

Coalition members include: Alliance for Aging Research (http://www.agingresearch.org/) AARP (http://www.aarp.org/) American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry (http://www.aagpgpa.org) American Geriatrics Society (http://www.americangeriatrics.org/) AGS Foundation for Healthy Aging ( http://www.healthinaging.org/) American Medical Directors Association (http://www.amda.com/) American Society of Consultant Pharmacists ( http://www.ascp.com/) Association of Directors of Geriatric Academic Programs (http://www.americangeriatrics.org/adgap/) Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (http://www.aghe.org/ ) Gerontological Society of America (http://www.geron.org) International Longevity Center-USA (http://www.ilcusa.org/) National Sleep Foundation (http://www.sleepfoundation.org/) The Sleep Research Society (http://www.sleepresearchsociety.org/)

The National Coalition for Sleep Disorders in Older People (S-DOP) is made possible by a grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America.

The International Longevity Center-USA is a research policy organization in New York City and has sister centers in Europe, Asia, Latin America and Africa. Led by Dr. Robert N. Butler, a world-renowned physician specializing in geriatrics, the Center is a non-for-profit, non-partisan organization with a staff of economists, medical and health researchers, demographers and others who study the impact of population aging on society. The ILC-USA focuses on combating ageism, healthy aging, productive engagement and the financing of old age. The ILC-USA is an independent affiliate of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and is incorporated as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entity. More information on the ILC-USA can be found at

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